3 Real Life Networking Success Stories

by | Jun 28, 2023

Do you loathe the thought of networking when you are job searching? And, where do you start when you don’t think you have much of a network?

Firstly, everyone has a network! All it takes is one person and you have the start of your network. Unless you’ve been sitting in a room on your own your whole life, and never communicated with anyone, you have a network! 

If your sole focus is job boards and recruitment agencies, you are missing out on potential job opportunities Global research shows only 30% of jobs are found through job boards and recruitment agencies. The remaining 70% of jobs are found through networking. This is what many people refer to as the hidden job market. 

The easiest way to tap into the remaining 70% of jobs is to utilise your network. 

Let me tell you some client stories about how “accidental” networking found them a job………….

Story #1

The first story is about a Financial Controller from the UK. He had recently emigrated to Sydney, on his own. Let’s call him John. When we met, John wanted help with his LinkedIn and resume. We also talked about how he was approaching his job search. I discovered he was 100% focussed on job boards and recruiters. I asked him why this was his only approach. John’s reply was, “I don’t have a network, I am new to the country”

We got talking about what else he was doing with his time, apart from job hunting. Turns out John liked to run and had recently joined a local running club. He was running with a group of 6 people and was really enjoying it. What do you think I said next?! Yes, you’re right. There was his network!

All the people he was running with were in full time jobs. However, it had never occurred to John, he could ask them for help in his job search. The next time John went running, he started to ask them one by one to go for coffee. He made the effort to get to know them more. He explained a bit more about his job search and he asked them for advice. He also asked each person, who in their network they could recommend him too. This is how he increased his network, met new people, ultimately leading him to a new job.

Most people are happy to help, but you need to ask them.

Story #2

My next story is another client who had recently returned to Sydney after working overseas for a few years. Let’s say her name was Jackie. She was an IT project manager who felt she had lost touch with much of her Sydney network. She was finding her job search really tough. She had not had a job interview in a long time. As Jackie had been working overseas people kept telling her she lacked recent local experience, and this was counting against her.

We chatted about what she did in her spare time, and Jackie told me about the two dogs she had recently adopted. Jackie really enjoyed taking them out for walks. When things were getting frustrating with her job search this is how she cleared her head. How ironic that it was her dogs that helped her land her next job!

One day Jackie struck up a conversation with another lady in the dog park. They got talking and Jackie confided that she has recently moved back to Sydney after working overseas for a few years. The lady asked Jackie what she did for a living. Jackie told her she was an IT project manager. The lady found this interesting as the design firm where she worked was looking for an IT project manager. They had had been struggling to find the right person. So, Jackie and the lady met up for coffee and talked some more. The lady introduced Jackie to her boss and too cut a long story short, Jackie emailed me a few weeks later to say she got the job!

In her email Jackie said she remembered I had told her to network everywhere she went.

Jackie now loves to tell people her story, how she got a job through talking to a stranger in the dog park!

Story #3

My final story happened when I was doing volunteer work at the Asylum Seeker Centre in Newtown. A colleague and I had gone there to help recent migrants prepare for the Sydney job market. We gave them advice on resumes and the job application process.

I also spoke about how to look for a job beyond just using the job boards. This progressed into how to approach people directly to ask for work and the power of networking. There was around 12 people in the room, we were all sitting in a big circle, everyone listening intently. When I had finished talking, one guy said to me “what a waste of time, networking won’t work for us. We are new to the country; we don’t have a network. You don’t understand” I empathised with him on how tough it is for them to find work.

Whilst I was doing this a lady held up her hand to speak. She looked at the man and said, “I disagree with you. When I go to my prayer group I make an effort to speak to a couple of new people. I will introduce myself, then I ask about them and what they have been up to. Some of these people are starting to get jobs. If they know me, and I have made an effort to get to know them, maybe they can tell me how they found work. Or even recommend me to their new employer.”

She looked over at me and asked, “Is that networking?” I replied, “yes, it is and well done on what you are doing, that’s fantastic” She said she realises this approach to finding work may take longer. However, she said it was also a great way to get to know people and make new friends.

Second Level Network

Your network can start with just one person. Find out who they know and this can then expand your network. In a classic study, sociologist Mark Granovetter showed that people were 58% more likely to get a new job through weak ties than strong ties.

How could acquaintances be more helpful than good friends? The intuitive answer is that we have more weak than strong ties, so the odds are just higher. Evidence supports a more powerful explanation: despite their good intentions, strong ties often give us “old” knowledge.

Our closest contacts tend to know the same people and information as we do. Weak ties travel in different circles and learn different things. They can offer us more efficient access to new information. Think about the people with whom you’ve lost touch for a few years: a childhood neighbour, a college roommate, or a colleague from your first job. Reach out to them and ask how they are. Meet up for coffee.


Having a positive mindset makes all the difference when you are job searching. Most people are happy to help, but you do need to ask them.

Don’t just ask people for a job. Instead, ask for their advice and ideas. What worked for them when they were job searching?

When you are job hunting, treat it as a full-time job. Keep on persisting and never ever give up!

Track everything you do and always follow up and say thank-you. Ask people how they are, and think how you might be able to help them. 

I hope my stories inspire you to reach out to your network and ask for their advice.

What have you got to lose!

Whenever you’re ready, there are 3 ways I can help you:

  1. Career crossroads and need clarity? Click here
  2. Maximise your LinkedIn and Resume for a successful job search, click here
  3. Nail that job interview and get the job offer, click here

Alternatively, if you are feeling overwhelmed or are unsure where to start and need help with EVERYTHING click here

Job Search Tips That Work!

- Get RECRUITERS to notice you.


- Nail that job INTERVIEW!

Thanks for subscribing. Please check your inbox or JUNK MAIL for your Job Search Tips.